This can be anything you want

Inspiring interview with Louis CK in the New York Times:

Last season was the first time I sat down and wrote the whole thing. When I wrote the Parker Posey stuff, it was really verbose and long, and I was like, “This is supposed to be one episode.” So I wrote a card that says, “This can be anything you want,” and it sat on my desk the rest of the season. Once I got to that, I was like, “Hey, telling longer stories, that’s fun.”

Isn't that just a great sign to have sitting on your desk? "This can be anything you want."

When creating a product or a business, why not remind ourselves that this product, this business, can be anything we want it to be. Heck, even this life can be anything you want. Why make it the way others do it, why make it the way you've been taught, why do it the way it's typically done.

This can be anything you want.


More gold in that interview:

I don’t think you should ever say anything that you’re going to have to apologize for later. If the heat gets hot, just let them get mad. How did somebody make you apologize? Did they literally hit you on your body? Let them be upset. It’s not the worst thing in the world. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be a pauper. It’s a desperate thing to need everybody to be really happy with everything you say. To me the way to manage is not to have 50 versions of yourself — I do this thing, and the next time you’re going to hear me is the next time I do another one. As soon as you crack your knuckles and open up a comments page, you just canceled your subscription to being a good person.

People have an infinite capacity for and desire to feeling offended. I once did a very un-scientific survey of the stories in the media, cataloging them by the emotion they were designed to evoke. Feelings of being offended or outraged were a clear number one. When we feel offended, we get to feel better than other people, and we don't have to deal with our own shortcomings or what we have failed to do with our own lives. It's a very powerful emotion.

My take has always been: If thats' what they so desire, then give it to them. You're only doing them a favor by giving them something to feel offended about.

Clearly that's easier said than done, but I love Louis' take: "Did they literally hit you on your body?"

And finally, this exchange:

Does it matter that what you’ve achieved, with your online special and your tour can’t be replicated by other performers who don’t have the visibility or fan base that you do?

Why do you think those people don’t have the same resources that I have, the same visibility or relationship? What’s different between me and them?

You have the platform. You have the level of recognition.

So why do I have the platform and the recognition?

At this point you’ve put in the time.

There you go. There’s no way around that. There’s people that say: “It’s not fair. You have all that stuff.” I wasn’t born with it. It was a horrible process to get to this. It took me my whole life. If you’re new at this — and by “new at it,” I mean 15 years in, or even 20 — you’re just starting to get traction. Young musicians believe they should be able to throw a band together and be famous, and anything that’s in their way is unfair and evil. What are you, in your 20s, you picked up a guitar? Give it a minute.

Give it a minute!

(Via Callie Oettinger on Steven Pressfield's blog.)

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